Former reporter remembers covering 1994 trial of WM3 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former reporter remembers covering 1994 trial of West Memphis 3

A former member of the Action News 5 team reflected Friday on his time covering the West Memphis 3. A former member of the Action News 5 team reflected Friday on his time covering the West Memphis 3.

(WMC-TV) - A former member of the Action News 5 team reflected Friday on his time covering the West Memphis 3. 

Former Action News 5 reporter Rod Starns said his time covering the West Memphis 3 was a turning point in his career. Starns was in Arkansas in 1994 covering the trial of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelly.

"At the time, it dominated news coverage like no other story had in Memphis," Starns said.

Starns practically lived in Corning and Jonesboro, Arkansas for weeks as Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly, and Jason Baldwin sat for trial.

Starns has a vivid memory of Damien Echols' girlfriend storming from the courtroom, crying, after the verdict was read.

"As I'm standing there describing and explaining what's going on in the courtroom behind her...it was me and this sobbing woman outside the door," he said.

Starns was also the first Memphis reporter to interview Damien Echols after he went to prison.

"He was quiet, seemingly polite, and yet he was accused of such chilling things, and was a different match between the person you saw and what he was accused of," Starns said.

Starns hasn't kept up with details of the case in recent years. But nearly twenty years ago, he was a witness in the case against Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelly, known as the West Memphis 3.

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